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October 1963

Neuromyopathies and Thyroid Dysfunction: Some Unusual Associations

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Neurology and Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and the Endocrine Section of the Medical Clinic, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(4):555-568. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860040151014

The association of neuromuscular disorders with thyroid dysfunction has long been recognized and extensively described. The role of the thyroid hormones in neuromuscular biochemistry and physiology remains obscure. It is our purpose here to describe eight cases illustrating unusual associations of thyroid dysfunction with various neuromyopathies (Table).

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 36-year-old white woman was admitted to the hospital on April 3, 1960, for evaluation of long-standing weakness and recently detected hypothyroidism. A diagnosis of myasthenia gravis had been made at age 18. Thereafter, a daily dose of 75-120 mg of neostigmine controlled her symptoms. Prior to her admission the serum PBI was 2.1μg and the serum cholesterol was 331 mg%. A tracer study with I131 showed a thyroid uptake of 7% at 2 hours and 7% at 24 hours. The urinary excretion of gonadotropins and estrogens was within normal limits. Her general appearance suggested hypothyroidism. There was